Gambling Guinea’s MLB Slate- 6/11:
Max Scherzer O8.5 K’s -118 (FanDuel):
Mad Max Scherzer still resides as one of the best pitchers in the MLB. He, like Tyler Glasnow and Jacob Degrom, is on the short list of pitchers I circle my calendar on every week in hopes of eclipsing a strikeout total prop bet. My old adage; give the benefit of the doubt to the power arms.
Against the team with the best record in baseball, the San Francisco Giants, this plateau may seem a little hesitating. However, if bettors take a deeper dive into the numbers, it’s noteworthy that the Giants strike out close to 9.5 times per game where Scherzer needs to hit 9. Ironically enough, Mad Max has started to heat up in his last 3 starts- averaging just over 7 innings per, less than 2 runs, 1 walk, and over 9 punchouts (hitting at least 9 strikeouts in each). While it just so happens that 9 is the magic number tonight, it juuusssstttt so happens that the man with two different eye colors is noticeably better at home in 2021. In DC, Max is averaging just over – you guessed it- 9 K’s across 6 starts with an opponent .163 batting average against.
Currently sitting at 4th in the bigs with 104 punchouts, Scherzer’s value is too enticing to not at least throw a wager on. It’s not often bettors get this kind of line on one of the best pitchers the game has to offer.
Jacob Degrom O9.5 K’s -106 (FanDuel):
At this point, we’ve run out of superlatives about Jacob Degrom. Not only is he the best pitcher in baseball, but he’s in firm contention for the NL MVP through the first 2 months of the year. Friday night, he trots out to the mound for his second straight start against the San Diego Padres- this one being in the Big Apple.
Fresh off an 11 punch out performance against the St. James Fathers, Degoat may appear to have finally been given a longer leash by manager Luis Rojas after some missed starts and short stint to the IL with lower back/right side tightness. Despite the Padres striking out just over 8 times per game, JD eclipsing the magic number of 10 strikeouts remains a strong play, especially considering exceptional value. Ordinarily, this might be a fade if it involved any other pitcher, but basic logic cannot always be factored in for the 2-time NL Cy Young winner. If it makes bettors feel any more confident, across 5 home outings Degrom is averaging over 10 K’s per start in 2021.
If you have tuned into me this season, you’ll remember my motto: give the benefit of the doubt to the power arms. While a shorter outing out of caution remains a distinct possibility, the line and trend is favorable enough to once again back the best pitcher in the MLB.
Shohei Ohtani O6.5 K’s +110 (Pinnacle):
One of the most exciting players in the league toes the rubber tonight in hopes of boosting his AL MVP candidacy. Shohei Ohtani has swept through the entire MLB as the next generation of athletes. A thoroughbred 2-way player, Ohtani possesses rare power as both a hitter and pitcher. Friday night, he leads the charge for the visiting Angels out in Arizona against a sneaky Diamondbacks unit.
My biggest concern about Ohtani the pitcher has been his inability to halt the high rate of free passes he’s issuing. His not-so-lovely 5.5 BB/9 goes hand in hand with the better than not possibility he fails to cross 5 innings pitched. Luckily, Sho time has improved with pitch count and control logging 6 innings pitched in each of his last 2 starts. Coming off Tommy John surgery, it’s not unreasonable that the Angels are taking a rather conservative approach with their 2-way superstar. However, it appears the leash may be getting longer. The extraordinarily valuable prop bet of notching 7 punch outs is a feat he has accomplished 6 out of 8 outings in 2021. Factoring in the 9 times per game his opponent has punched out this season with his average of 8 K’s per start on the road, it’s a salivating line that needs to be played.
Despite the Diamondbacks being a pesky opponent, there is good reason to carry a lot of faith that this power arm is able to deliver at least 7 strikeouts this evening. SEND IT!